Lufthansa Technik has gained experience in additive manufacturing (AM) in recent years, a technology it is pursuing due to its benefits in producing lightweight parts, and in producing individual parts very quickly – a particular advantage when prototypes or one-off parts are required. To further advance its work in this area, the company has set up an AM center in Germany.
Dr Aenne Koester, head of the AM Center, stated, “The new AM Center will serve as a collaborative hub where the experience and skills that Lufthansa Technik has gained in additive manufacturing can be bundled and further expanded. The aim is to increase the degree of maturity of the technologies and to develop products that are suitable for production.”
Lufthansa Technik experts will work with AM specialists from numerous industry partners and research institutions to develop strategies to support the introduction of AM technology into the highly regulated world of commercial aircraft operation and MRO. For example, Lufthansa Technik will collaborate with Oerlikon AM with the aim of better understanding process repeatability, a key element of industrialization and certification. The collaboration is also intended to help drive the industrialization of AM forward, as study results will be shared with relevant industry bodies to support defining standards for the qualification and approval of aircraft components.